Why Is Onboarding A New Employee So Important?

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

Imagine this, you and the HR team, or recruitment team have worked tirelessly to find the best candidate for your team and company, to only lose the new employee in the first few months because of the lack of a robust, informative onboarding process. Whilst this seems surprising, it is unfortunately often the case.


The relationship between onboarding and new employee engagement


Statistics that provide evidence and show a strong relationship between onboarding and new employee engagement are:

  • Great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%

  • A negative onboarding experience results in new hires being twice as more likely to look for other opportunities.

  • 1 in 5 new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer after their new hire onboarding experience (Digitate).

  • The biggest onboarding challenge is inconsistent application.

  • It is estimated that replacing an employee in a managerial position can cost an average of six to nine months’ salary.


Reasons to not contribute


The results of investing in a robust onboarding process are clear, but why do employers/managers not contribute or participate in an onboarding process? A few reasons are:

  • Time and competing priorities.

  • Managers not taking accountability for onboarding, believing it is an HR task.

  • Not being across in the development of the onboarding process and not understanding how to implement or why certain aspects of the process are there.

  • Not having the appropriate tools and resources.

  • Not understanding the full impacts on the employee.

The 4 C's


A robust onboarding process starts prior to the new employee starting and generally goes throughout the whole probation period, ideally 6 months. A robust onboarding process looks at the 4 C’s connection, culture, clarification, and compliance:

  • Connection through social integration within your company is vital to ensure a successful onboarding process. Examples of different types of connection activities are regular meetings with their team and Manager, regular informal reviews with their manager about performance or feedback about how they are tracking and social activities with the Company.

  • Compliance during the onboarding process is imperative to ensure the employees understanding of the policies and procedures and the way the Company handles certain situations/challenges or issues. Examples of compliance activities are WHS and emergency evacuations plans and HR policies and procedures.

  • Culture and understanding the Company’s informal and formal norms, helps the new employee create a sense of belonging and can reassure an employee’s decision to join the company. Examples of ways to develop culture throughout the onboarding process are understanding the values, strategy and vision, meeting with different teams throughout the Company to cross collaborate and

  • Clarification is important for the new employee to ensure they understand their role, objectives, and expectations. Examples of ways to ensure a new employee understands their role are the implementation of a position description, consistent feedback on performance and providing the appropriate support, coaching and mentoring to help the employee develop in their role.




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